5 Great and Curious Reasons to Eat Dark Chocolate
The origin of dark chocolate goes back, as far as we know, to almost 4,000 years of antiquity in Central America. The Mayans drank it and included it in their rituals as a sacred drink.
The cultivation and domestication of the cocoa plant, from which dark chocolate and other varieties are extracted, was gaining significant importance. Thus, over time it was revalued due to its spiritual, medicinal, political, and economic nature.
In this article, we present 5 great and curious reasons to consume dark chocolate every day. This ancestral, irresistible and delicious food is a natural remedy for some disorders. Besides being a great antioxidant, it also improves cardiovascular health and regulates the intestine.
Dark chocolate and cocoa
To begin, we must clarify that, in this article, we refer only to the benefits of dark chocolate. This food has medicinal properties thanks to its high content of cocoa , which is the curative component of this product. Therefore, we discard milk chocolate and other less healthy varieties.
We recommend choosing a dark chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa. We can also use pure cocoa to cook all kinds of drinks and recipes. In this way, we will avoid other more harmful ingredients such as milk fats or sugar.
We recommend you read: Dark Chocolate and Its 10 Benefits
Reasons to eat it
1. A powerful antioxidant
The bitter chocolate is made with the seeds of the cocoa tree. This even has more antioxidant capacity than fruits.
Also, the seeds of the cocoa plant and chocolate by the cup contain a great accumulation of polifenoles, that are natural antioxidants. Not in vain, the cocoa seed is called a superfood because of its nutritional composition.
It should be noted that, in the case of cooked chocolate, when it is heated, it loses some of its nutrients. This method of processing makes it lose some degree of its antioxidant capacity.
When chocolate has a high content of cocoa, in addition to a gastronomic delight, it is also a remedy to prevent aging.
2. Improves cardiovascular health
A moderate and habitual consumption of dark chocolate helps us to prevent the most frequent cardiovascular disorders : cholesterol, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. However, other types of chocolate cause the opposite effect in our body.
In this way, dark chocolate helps us control blood pressure and prevents diseases that affect the veins and the heart. Thanks to an active substance that it contains, called flavonocin, cocoa improves the circulatory system in the same way as many remedies.
3. Regulates the intestines
The soluble fiber that dark chocolate contains, besides helping to control cholesterol levels, also benefits our intestine. 10% of its content is fiber, which also produces an almost immediate satiating effect. Therefore, eating chocolate takes away the desire to eat.
Since fiber does not break down in the body, and it passes through the intestine intact, it helps cleanse the digestive tract when it passes through it. Therefore, eating dark chocolate prevents constipation and irritable bowel syndrome, as its fiber acts like an intestinal broom.
4. Calm a cough
Dark chocolate contains a substance called theobromine that acts on the vagus nerve and reduces its activity. This nerve has, among other functions, control of coughing attacks.
So, unlikely as it may seem, consuming a few ounces of dark chocolate a day helps soothe coughing fits.
In this sense, when we are suffering from the symptoms of the flu or the cold, we can resort to a comforting hot chocolate drink. However, we recommend avoiding milk, as this could increase mucus and worsen our condition.
See also: 5 Best Teas to Treat an Annoying Cough
5. It brings us happiness
Why do so many people need to eat chocolate, and feel great happiness in doing so? Why can we become addicted to it? Because by eating this food, our brain produces endorphins. These hormones promote the feelings of joy and happiness.
These 5 grand reasons are sufficient justifications so that you do not suppress the temptation to eat chocolate. Just remember to choose one high in cocoa, of good quality, and consume it in small quantities daily.
Eat it guilt-free, because now you know that it’s very healthy!
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
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- Gomez-Juaristi M, Gonzalez-Torres L, Bravo L, Vaquero MP, Bastida S, Sanchez-Muniz FJ. Beneficial effects of chocolate on cardiovascular health. Nutr Hosp 2011;26(2):289-92.
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